Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology
In recent years, there have been a series of advancements in electron beam instruments and x-ray detectors which may make it possible to improve significantly the quality of results from the quantitative electron-probe analysis of individual particles. These advances include: (1) field-emission gun electron beam instruments such as scanning electron microscopes (FEG-SEMs) that have high brightness electron guns with excellent performance at low beam energies, E-o less than or equal to 10 keV and (2) high-resolution energy-dispersive x-ray spectrometers, like the microcalorimeter detector, that provide high-resolution (< 10 eV) parallel x-ray collection. These devices make it possible to separate low energy (< 4 keV) x-ray lines including the K lines of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen and the L and M lines for elements with atomic numbers in the range of 25 to 83. In light of these advances, this paper investigates the possibility of using accelerating voltages less than or equal to 10 kV, as a method to improve the accuracy of elemental analysis for micrometer-sized particles.
J. Res. Natl. Inst. Stand. Technol. Vol. 107, No. 6, p. 555
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